At 3 p.m. on the third Saturday in June, 56 cars stream past the starting line of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a multicolored, roaring blur. Two hundred forty thousand spectators have gathered around the 8.5-mile circuit in central France for the 80th edition of the race. Cars of wildly varying speeds will compete in four distinct classes, with the fastest entries vying for overall victory in a race that lasts an entire day and night. It is, in effect, four races happening simultaneously. Drivers must contend with passing and being passed by cars from other classes for the duration. Leading the pack are the Le Mans prototypes, purpose-built thoroughbreds capable of reaching 210 miles per hour.
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